Jonathan, Sambo, Anyim to spend N1.59bn on welfare in 2013

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan The offices of three principal functionaries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – the President, the Vice-President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation – will spend N1.59bn on welfare packages in 2013.

While Goodluck Jonathan is currently the president, Namadi Sambo is the VP. The office of the SGF is occupied by Anyim Pius Anyim.

Details of the budget obtained by our correspondents in Abuja on Friday showed that the three offices would spend N1.59bn on the undefined item tagged welfare packages.

The SGF office will spend the lion share of N1.07bn; the President’s office will spend N355.9m, while the VP’s office will spend N160.83m.

As at press time, it was not certain whether the welfare package stands for miscellaneous expenses such as transportation of visitors to government officials.

The 2013 budget shows that Nigeria will spend slightly less than N1bn (precisely N990.24m) in feeding Jonathan and Sambo in 2013.

The Nigeria Police will spend N110m on the feeding of dogs in the 2013 financial year.

The breakdown on the cost of feeding in the Presidency shows that Jonathan will spend on N406, 738,969 on foodstuffs and catering materials next year.

The gas for cooking the President’s food will cost N13, 420,750, while the refreshment and meals in the State House will cost the nation N327, 154,931. Similar expenses will be made in the VP’s office.

Foodstuffs and catering materials for the VP will cost the nation N112, 500,000 in 2013, while the gas for cooking the food will cost N7, 020,750. Refreshment and meals will cost N123, 402,499 for the VP’s office in 2013.

These expenditure items bring the total cost for feeding in the Presidential Villa to N990.24m for the 2013 fiscal year.

The provision for feeding in the Presidency in 2013 is only N2.33m shy of the amount which the government is spending on foodstuff and refreshment in the Presidential Villa in the current budget year.

A closer look at the budget details shows that the police will spend N110, 179,250 on its dogs.

The breakdown of the amount indicates that the costs include the procurement of dog handling equipment and feeding, which will cost N55, 065,000.

Also, the police say that they will spend N9, 915,194 on the construction of Force Headquarters dogs’ section barracks, offices, kennels, furnishing and infrastructure (including perimeter fencing).

The Force will spend N45, 199,056m on the development of Police Veterinary Dogs Breeding Centre, also at the FHQ, Abuja.

While presenting the budget proposals to the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday, Jonathan said the Federal Government would try to save cost as a result of dwindling resources.

He said, “The uncertainty surrounding the global economy, which could have adverse effects on commodity prices, highlights the downside risks for our economy. The oil market is well known for its volatility. We recall the 2008 experience at the height of the global economic downturn when oil prices fell almost overnight from $147 per barrel to $38 per barrel.

“This threat of oil price volatility remains constant and underscores the need to rely on a robust and prudent methodology to estimate the benchmark price. The global economic slowdown can also have far-reaching implications for the demand for our export commodities, given that the Euro zone and the United States of America account for over 50 per cent of the nation’s crude oil exports.

“These global developments are also being transmitted to our economy through a dampening effect on foreign capital inflows and remittances by Diaspora Nigerians. These are uncertain times in the world economy, and my administration is continuing to take necessary steps to mitigate possible adverse effects of the global economic slowdown on Nigeria.

“In spite of these, our economy has done relatively well. Over the past nine months, through a number of initiatives, we have created new jobs directly and supported many young entrepreneurs running SMEs to create jobs.”

Punch

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